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Taming Cannibals
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Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians

Patrick Brantlinger

Abstract

This book unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire. For many Victorians, the idea of taming cannibals or civilizing savages was oxymoronic: civilization was a goal that the non-white peoples of the world could not attain or, at best, could only approximate, yet the “civilizing mission” was viewed as the ultimate justification for imperialism. Similarly, the supposedly unshakeable certainty of Anglo-Saxon racial superiority was routinely undercut by widespread fears about racial degeneration through contact with “lesser” races or concerns tha ... More

Keywords: sociopolitical history, postcolonial theory, racist ideology, imperialist ideology, British Empire, cannibals, savages, civilization

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801450198
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450198.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patrick Brantlinger, author
James Rudy Professor of English (Emeritus), Indiana University

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